Life With a Vegan Teenager

PLUS Four Tasty Smoothie Recipes to Get You Started in the Morning

A few months ago, I posted an article about how I support my daughter’s decision to become a vegan. I felt like it was time to give a progress report on how things are going.

Overall, things are going pretty well for her. Her acne problem continues to improve, and she is so much happier with the way her skin looks and feels. Once in a while, she has to deal with a couple of blemishes, but the cystic acne issues are completely gone. The improvement is amazing.

Also, she continues to consume lots of food each day, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, vegetable proteins, and water. She is steadfast in her decision not to consume meat or any other animal products. She has very strong convictions about that, and I do understand her viewpoint.

Still, it can be difficult sometimes, especially when I am doing meal planning or if we want to go out to eat. We are mindful of her dietary needs and choices and we want to accommodate her when we can, even if it requires some clever compromising at times.

And there have been many occasions in cooking at home when her dad and I will choose to forego meat and opt for more Andrea-vegan-friendly fare. We’ve had meat free meals in the past so it’s not that unusual. It’s really pretty tasty.

Most of the time.

I have to confess, though, that once many years ago in my quest for healthy cooking, I subjected my sweet, kind-hearted, long-suffering husband to a meal that was nothing short of an assault on his taste buds.

Eggplant parmesan.

Uggh! That’s the last time I listen to Martha Stewart. And there have been a few other unfortunate mishaps in the kitchen, although thankfully they are rare.

Most recently, the other night Andrea decided to try something new. Indian food with lots of curry and other spices, brown rice, and vegetables. A recipe she found on Pinterest.

We all know how those fun Pinterest experiments go. Sometimes we nail them, other times they don’t turn out so great.

This one fell under the latter category, unfortunately.

With high hopes, she boxed up her curry-laden food and took it to school for lunch the next day, only to find the results to be more than disappointing.

So we take these learning experiences and move on with our lives.

Awesome smoothies

On the positive side, in our quest for healthy breakfasts that are easily consumed on the go, we have come up with some amazing smoothie recipes.

We decided to purchase one of those Ninja blenders with the blades that go all the way up the center post for maximum pureeing and mixing.

It was a phenomenal purchase.

In order to take full advantage of our new-found blending power, we have concocted some delicious vegan friendly, dairy free smoothie recipes. And thankfully, not one smidge of Greek yogurt is necessary.

We categorize our smoothies now by color, and here are the four best ones we have created.

 

The Purple smoothie

(Mom’s favorite)

½ cup frozen blueberries

1 ripe banana (either fresh or frozen works)

5 fresh or frozen strawberries

Fresh spinach leaves (about 8)

Optional – 1 tablespoon agave nectar (about one squirt)

1 scoop of raspberry sorbet or vanilla frozen yogurt if dairy doesn’t bother you

Splashes of orange juice or soy milk added toward the end of blending to achieve proper consistency. It does need to go through a straw.

Blend well and serve

 

The Green Smoothie

10 to 12 Fresh spinach leaves

Fresh kale (not too much)

8 to 10 Green grapes

6 Fresh or frozen mango chunks

2 Fresh or frozen pineapple chunks

1 ripe banana

Fresh lime juice

Optional – 1 tablespoon agave nectar (about one squirt)

4 Ice cubes or 1 scoop sorbet of your choosing (try lemon or pineapple)

Splashes of orange juice added toward the end of blending to achieve proper consistency

Blend well and serve

 

The Orange smoothie

1 ripe banana

6 frozen mango chunks (or fresh if mango is in season)

4 baby carrots

8 green grapes

Optional – 1 tablespoon agave nectar (about one squirt)

4 ice cubes or 1 scoop of orange sorbet

Splashes of orange juice added toward the end of blending to achieve proper consistency

Mandarin oranges would probably be great in this, too. We will try it.

Blend well and serve

 

The Pink smoothie

1 ripe banana

5 strawberries, fresh or frozen

½ cup frozen fruit blend of pineapple, blackberry, and strawberry

1 scoop raspberry sorbet

8 to 10 grapes (green or red)

Optional – 1 tablespoon agave nectar (about one squirt)

Splashes of orange juice or cranberry juice added toward the end of blending to achieve proper consistency

If you choose to try any of these recipes, just know that the measurements are estimated and approximate. You can play around with the amounts of any of them according to your taste. Most of these recipes will make at least one 16 ounce smoothie. Some may make more than that.

For convenience and busy mornings, you can make up the smoothies in advance and freeze them. I purchased some clear, disposable 16 oz. cups with lids to use just for this purpose.

This requires planning ahead, but when you want one for breakfast, just take your smoothie out of the freezer and set it in the refrigerator at night before you go to bed and it will be thawed perfectly for consumption the next morning.

I know what you’re thinking. Eating healthy is so hard! Yes, it does take some effort, but in the end it is so worth it. Your teen will be healthier and happier, and so will you.

What tips do you have for eating healthy with teenagers? I need your input on this. We are constantly in need of fresh ideas for meals. Please scroll down and leave a comment in the section below with your advice. Thanks, and as always,

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Life With a Vegan Teenager

  1. I found myself chuckling when I read this week’s teen article. No, we haven’t tried anything like this and I’m not sure those kinds of meals will ever wind up on my wish list. Mother is far more inclined toward those kinds of meals. Much love, Dad

  2. Wow, that’s fantastic that your daughter has experienced so many benefits from changing her diet. Food can be our most powerful medicine or a slow form of poison. It sounds like the whole family is reaping the rewards. 🙂